State Of New Mexico Public Records

Can a child be denied education?

My cousin’s mother was deported. She now is living with me and my parents being we are her only relatives. We went to enroll her in school today and had all her paperwork (birth cert, immunization records, ID) My mother has a notarized Power of Attorney from June 2005 from my cousin’s mother stating my mother is allowed to take my cousin in and out of Mexico and in case of an emergency to act as her mother would. Now the school said they are only taking it for 30 days and want a new notarized Power of Attorney and that we have to get legal custody of our cousin. Problem is mother is in Mexico and we have no contact with her. She has no phone and the only way to get in touch with her is for us to actually drive to Mexico. They pretty much said well you have 30 days to take care of it or she cant go to that school. I thought legally they can not turn away a child from a public school. I can understand an updated POA but to get legal custody? Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Your power of attorney is limited . . . from your statement it only applies to travel to and from Mexico and emergency situations. School is neither. The school is somewhat correct, you either need custody or an absolute or blanket power of attorney which would allow you to make all decisions for the child . . . not just the one’s stated on the p.o.a. you have now. Power of attorney must be specific or blanket. Piece of advice, contact the school superintendent(s) or school board that oversee your cousins school. Have them put their request in writing. That way when you get the amended poa they will not be able to request additional documents. I would also file for an emergency hearing in family court where a judge could award you temporary custody (generally for a year at a time) until you get this mess straightened out. And yes, the school district can do this . . . Good luck. Don’t worry, the judge will give you some sort of custody.

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